Asma Shirazi wins 2014 Peter Mackler award

Published August 22, 2014
Pakistan’s first female war correspondent and TV host Asma Shirazi has won one of the most prestigious awards in journalism. – File Photo
Pakistan’s first female war correspondent and TV host Asma Shirazi has won one of the most prestigious awards in journalism. – File Photo

WASHINGTON: Asma Shirazi, Pakistan's first female war correspondent and host of popular TV talk shows, was named 2014 Winner of Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism on Friday.

Shirazi reported on conflicts that include the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war, Taliban violence on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in 2009 and General Pervez Musharraf's 2007 state of emergency.

She also hosted two popular television talk shows, including one on parliamentary affairs that Musharraf banned when he clamped down on independent news coverage.

“We are thrilled to recognise the courage and dedication to journalistic ethics that Ms Shirazi has displayed every day of her career,” said Camille Mackler, Project Director for the Peter Mackler Award.

At great personal risk and defying death threats, Shirazi ensures “that unbiased, free information is available throughout Pakistan,” Mackler said.

Shirazi is the second woman to win the award since its creation in 2008, after Honduran radio news editor Karla Rivas won in 2011.

Shirazi's award pays “tribute to the courage of those who fight for freedom of information in Pakistan, where seven journalists were murdered in connection with their work in 2013,” said Delphine Halgand, US director of media watchdog Reporters Without Borders.

“AFP is happy to be associated with this recognition of Asma Shirazi's great courage and perseverance in reporting on conflict and politics in Pakistan despite the personal dangers she faced,” said David Millikin, AFP's director for North America.

The award, named for the late Agence France-Presse , will be presented at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington on October 23.

The Award is administered by Global Media Forum in partnership with AFP and Reporters Without Borders.

Pakistan is currently ranked 158th out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders.

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